Social care

New charging reform funding to help NHS clear backlog

The Government have announced that over £15m will be given to local authorities ahead of the adult social care reforms next year.

The reforms will include a cost cap of care as well as an upgrade to IT infrastructure to keep up with the increased demand of additional assessments, amid record-breaking demand.

The funding will go towards the recruitment and training of staff in local authorities, with additional funding ringfenced to increase capacity and to support the implementation of the required technology needed for the charging reforms.

Social care staff were incredibly important during the pandemic, bolstering NHS ranks and relieving pressure on the health sector by keeping people out of hospital.

The social care reforms will enable improved integration of health and care systems – ultimately creating a more conducive environment for earlier patient discharges thus freeing hospital space and allowing the NHS to better tackle Covid-19 backlogs.

Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan, said: “Our charging reforms will mean no one will have to face unpredictable and often catastrophic care costs and this new funding will help local authorities to implement these vital changes.

“We’re committed to fair and high-quality care, and this is the beginning of our journey of reform, creating the next step in making our ambitious plans a reality.

“We’re working closely with local authorities, providers and care receivers to deliver a smooth transition into the new system to end unpredictable cost of care for the public.”

An additional £2.9m of funding will also be set aside for “trailblazing organisations” to cover the cost of an earlier implementation of the reforms.

The reforms mean that starting from October 2023, no-one receiving care will pay more than £86,000 over their lifetime, with people with assets valuing less than £20,000 also not having to contribute directly from their own personal savings or housing wealth.

Anyone with assets totalling between £20,000-£100,000 will be eligible for means-tested support, with the limit of support for that set to be quadrupled.

This is all backed by the Health and Social Care Levy, which will raise £5.4bn to support the transformation of social care – all of which forms part of the £39bn ringfenced to clear the Covid-19 backlogs and alleviate the relentless pressure currently on the NHS.

More information on the reforms is available here.

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